Editorial: Conscious Consumption: A Personal Perspective

Written by Cafe Campesino on Nov 1, 2004 in Editorial, NEWSLETTER |

As we head in to the Holiday season, it seems appropriate to comment briefly on conscious consumption and how we at Café Campesino approach the matter. When I was growing up, my father used to agonize when one of us left the lights on after leaving a room or when we looked through the refrigerator as though we were looking for a book on a library shelf. My father was one of the last in the neighborhood to buy a color television set as he didn’t view it as a necessity. It wasn’t until he found a local hotel in bankruptcy that he felt comfortable shelling out the dough for a used color TV. It was a great TV too (half the price of a new one), especially when we sawed off the bolt that had been welded onto the bottom of it (apparently theft had been a contributor to the hotel’s demise).

As time passed, my father took on increasingly more sophisticated aspects of conscious consumption – focusing primarily on conservation of fuel and other forms of energy. He felt that everyone was responsible for preventing and avoiding waste, especially of those resources that we all share and on which our society depends.

What I admire most though about my father’s responsible consumption habits is that they were motivated out of his belief that conscious consumption was his responsibility as a member of society. For my father, waste and excess were neither normal nor acceptable. A good citizen is a good steward of resources and visa versa…this was his paradigm.

When we talk about conscious consumption at Café Campesino – I believe that we’re talking about many of the same things my father considered important, from conserving fuel, electricity and other forms of energy, to recycling our waste, to making careful decisions about the things we buy.

The Fair Trade movement offers a unique opportunity for us to deepen the way in which we make our purchase decisions, providing us with the tools we need to act as better stewards of what many would consider to be the world’s greatest resource – human labor and productivity. Stewardship of the vast pool of human labor is increasingly recognized as critical to economic development and world peace. To be a good citizen, a good steward of our world’s resources, and, more specifically, our global human resources, we have the option to seek out and buy Fair Trade products. With the proliferation of fair trade companies out there and the convenience of the internet, buying Fair Trade is about as easy as is turning off the light on the way out.

Tripp Pomeroy joined Café Campesino as our general manager and a partner this past summer…though we’re sure he never imagined that he’d have the opportunity to “vent his spleen” once a month thanks to Fair Grounds!

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